Despite legislative punt, ballot change still needed

We’re pleased to learn that a group called Colorado’s Future is not abandoning its plan to seek voter approval to make it more difficult to amend Colorado’s Constitution, even though the state Legislature failed to pass a resolution this year that would have referred the issue to voters.

Colorado’s Constitution is one of the easiest in the country to amend, and the result has been a raft of ballot items to do just that every two years. Most are more about changing state procedures — and should be amendments to state statutes rather than the Constitution — while others, like last year’s attempts to eviscerate state and local government, probably wouldn’t have even made it to the ballot if there had been tougher standards.

The Daily Sentinel has long supported efforts to make it more difficult to amend the state Constitution. That document should not be a vehicle of micromanaging state budgets or state agencies, but for addressing broad policy issues.

The measure that died in the Legislature this year would have required signatures from all seven congressional districts in the state to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot, and it would have required a super-majority of more than 60 percent of voters to approve an amendment.

That’s a sensible approach to ensuring citizens still have a right to petition to change the Constitution, but those pursuing personal agendas or frivolous ideas don’t see amending the Constitution as such an easy route to take. We hope Coloradans get to vote on something very much like that plan in 2012.


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